Cincinnati Eastside Rotary welcomed New York Times Best-Selling author, Andra Watkins, to a recent Club luncheon meeting where she recounted her inspirational hike of the Natchez Trace with her father.

From March 1 to April 3, 2014, Andra Watkins walked the Natchez Trace, all 444-miles with her father. Her life-changing event – the triumphs, challenges and humorous anecdotes – reminds us to seize the moment and make our own lasting memories whenever possible.

Watkins has authored four books including Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace is a memoir about her dysfunctional family adventure; it is a National Book Award nominee and a New York Times best seller. Natchez Trace: Tracks in Time is a book of photography, shot during her 15-mile daily hikes on her 444-mile Natchez Trace walk.

Hard to Die is Andra’s latest novel. It’s an afterlife story of Theodosia Burr Alston, tragic daughter of Aaron Burr and subject of the song “Dear Theodosia” from the Tony-award-winning smash Hamilton: An American Musical.


Girl Scouts offers the best leadership development experience for girls in the world – one that is designed with, by, and for girls, explained Cynthia Rhodes, community development manager for Girl Scouts of Western Ohio. Rhodes recently visited Cincinnati Eastside Rotary to discuss the impact of Girl Scouts.

Girl Scouts unleashes the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) in every girl, preparing her for a lifetime of leadership. The Girl Scout leadership experience is a one-of-a-kind leadership development program for girls, with proven results. It’s based on time-tested methods and research-backed programming that help girls take the lead – in their own lives and in the world.

Girl Scouts is proven to help girls thrive in five key ways as they:

  1. Develop a strong sense of self.
  2. Display positive values.
  3. Seek challenges and learn from setbacks.
  4. Form and maintain healthy relationships.
  5. Identify and solve problems in the community.

The inclusive, all-female environment of a Girl Scout troop creates a safe space where girls can try new things, develop a range of skills, take on leadership roles, and just be themselves.


Cincinnati Eastside Rotary welcomed Butch Elfers of Matthew 25 Ministries to a recent luncheon meeting to share the global impact and current initiatives underway at the international humanitarian aid organization.

Matthew 25 provides nutritional food to the hungry, clean water to the thirsty, clothing to the naked, affordable shelter to the homeless, medical care to the ill, and humanitarian supplies to those in need. Additionally, Matthew 25 helps educate the public on the conditions and needs of the “least of these” and provides resources for action.

Matthew 25 also provides disaster relief helping the poorest of the poor and disaster victims locally, regionally, nationally and internationally regardless of race, creed or political persuasion. By rescuing and reusing products from major corporations and manufacturers, Matthew 25: Ministries provides basic necessities, nutritional supplements, educational materials, micro-enterprise supplies and disaster relief across the US and worldwide.

The people we help are not receiving a handout, but a helping hand. It is only when a person’s most basic needs are met that one can become self-reliant. Because of this belief, Matthew 25: Ministries has always placed an emphasis on education, job creation and providing aid to children.

To learn more and to join the effort,


Rotary was pleased to welcome Executive Director, Cindy Alverson, of Raptor, Inc. to a recent meeting of the Cincinnati Eastside Rotary. Raptor is a local non-profit serving the greater Cincinnati area, rehabilitating injured birds of prey and providing educational programs to the public about raptors and their contribution to the ecosystem. Located on an 8 acre property adjacent to the Cincinnati Nature Center off of Barg Salt Run Rd., Raptor facilities consist of an education and rehabilitation center and multiple flight enclosures.

Specially trained volunteers perform duties including: coordination and pickup of injured raptors, rehabilitation and release of injured raptors, care and feeding of educational ambassadors, delivering educational programs, and maintenance and enhancement of rehab facilities.

Raptor opens its doors to the public on the last Sunday of each month (March-November) from 1pm to 4pm. During these times educators are available to welcome guests, lead tours, conduct educational programs share biological artifacts, and answer questions. Visitors may choose to participate in special activity stations, shop for merchandise, and enjoy some treats! The events are FUN and FREE!

Private tours and educational programs can be scheduled by appointment. For more information, including the opportunity to volunteer or donate, please visit

Jeff Lykins,  President & CEO of Lykins Energy Solutions, was recently recognized as a four-time Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary Foundation and Cincinnati Eastside Rotary.

Cincinnati Eastside Rotary President Gail Koford presents Jeff Lykins with a four-time Paul Harris Fellow recognition.

The presentation of the Paul Harris Fellow recognition is the Rotary Foundation’s way of expressing its appreciation for a substantial contribution to its humanitarian and educational programs. It is named for Rotary founder, Paul Harris, a Chicago lawyer who started Rotary International with three business associates in 1905.

In becoming a Paul Harris Fellow, Lykins joins a remarkable company of persons throughout the world. All recognized for their devotion to the ideal of goodwill, peace and understanding. Other Paul Harris Fellows from Cincinnati Eastside Rotary include Phil Boyer, Daren Donohoo, Donnie Donohoo, Hal & Sandy Shevers, and Alison Taylor.

Congratulations Jeff!


Jeff Lykins was recognized as Rotary’s Difference Maker

Jeff Lykins, President & CEO, Lykins Energy Solutions was recognized as Rotary’s Difference Maker at a recent meeting of the Cincinnati Eastside Rotary Club. Presenting the honors, was past Difference Maker recipient, Mary Eisnaugle. Jeff was applauded for his commitment to the principles of Rotary including service above self and dedication to addressing community challenges on a local and global scale.

Committed to the local community, Jeff has served as the President of the Milford / Miami Township Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Directors of the former National Bank & Trust in Wilmington Ohio, and has served as chairman of several chamber committees including governmental affairs, economic development, Frontier Days and as City Councilman and Vice Mayor of the City of Milford.  Jeff has served as President of the Clermont County Community Improvement Corporation, a Board member of the Economic Development Council of Clermont County and the board of the Greater Cincinnati Autism Society, the board of the Clermont County Convention and Visitors Bureau and most recently he serves on the board of the Andy & Jordan Dalton Foundation.

Rotary’s Difference Maker is presented monthly to a member who makes significant contributions to the Club and to the community while representing the founding principles of Rotary.

Tara Keith, director of development, Child Focus, Inc., attended a recent luncheon meeting of Cincinnati Eastside Rotary to present its encouraging 2016 annual report. Keith also accepted Rotary’s continued pledge to support its annual giving tree providing families in need with gifts and home essentials during the holidays.  Child Focus, celebrating 40 year of service, joins with communities in strengthening families and improving the quality of life for children. It does so, in part, through partnership with service organizations such as Rotary.

Child Focus programs include early learning programs, community mental health and out-of-home care. Early learning programs provide the building blocks for future success of some of the most vulnerable children in our community while mental health wellness is the foundation for healthy functioning in all areas of daily living.

Child Focus believes every child deserves a safe, loving home which is why the organization provides comprehensive out-of-home placement and supportive services to children and their families.


Mary Eisnaugle honored as Rotary’s Difference Maker

Mary Eisnaugle, Vice President of Marketing & Public Relations at Lykins Energy Solutions, was recognized by Cincinnati Eastside Rotary as its “Difference Maker” for the month of October.

The honor celebrates a member who makes significant contributions to the Club and to the community while representing the founding principles of Rotary.  Mary serves as a Director of Cincinnati Eastside Rotary, as a member of its service committee, and as chair of its annual charity gala.

Eisnaugle is a founder and President of the “Stopping the Abuse” initiative – aimed at equipping high school age youth with the life skills to become responsible parents.

Presenting the honor was past Difference Maker recipient, Donovan “Donnie” Donohoo, managing partner, Donohoo Cupp & Associates.

Chip Nielsen, president & CEO of Doscher’s Candy, the oldest manufacturer of candy canes in the US, visited a recent luncheon meeting of Cincinnati Eastside Rotary to share some of its famous french chews and candy canes.  Nielsen explained how the former CEO, and current Chairman of Al. Neyer, went from commercial real estate development to owning a local candy company.

Doscher’s Candies was founded in 1871 by Claus Doscher, a German immigrant who arrived in Cincinnati in 1868. Initially, Claus joined his uncles who were in the candy and sugar business. After a few years, Claus wanted to start his own venture and created Doscher Brothers Candy Company with one of his brothers.

When looking for a new business opportunity for his family, Nielsen discovered Dosher’s Candy was for sale and the rest, as they say, is history.  Nielsen will soon be relocating the business from its home for the past 80 years on West Court Street downtown to an early nineteenth century Victorian home in Newtown on Main Street. Renovation to accommodate the Doscher’s organization will be complete in the coming weeks.

The Newtown location will include a retail store and the Nielsen’s intend to offer tours of the candy-making operation.



Cincinnati Eastside Rotary was pleased to welcome Ryan Berg, Founder & Executive Director of the Aruna Project – offering an escape to sexually exploited women in India.


Aruna is a Hindi word meaning “bright morning Sun” and serves as a metaphor for the dawning of a new day in freedom


The Aruna Project brings and sustains freedom through employment marked by holistic care to sexually exploited women in India.  As a US non-profit, Aruna mobilizes thousands across the US in 5K Runs to raise awareness and money to aid in the freedom process. Our Indian Private Limited Company (a freedom business owned by the Aruna Project) then empowers and employs those set free to provide them a future of lifelong freedom.


The model:


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About Our Club

The Rotary Club of Cincinnati-Eastside was formed April 5, 2013 and it's 40 members enjoy fellowship, service and education each Wednesday at a luncheon meeting at Ivy Hills Country Club.  Prospective members are always welcome and each week more people are joining the "ground floor" of this new and vibrant Club.

The members represent a wide range of business, non-profit and government leaders.

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